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Review: Shadowman #10

Shadowman #10

Darque Destruction!

Sandria Darque’s vile plans are finally clicking into place… With his allies incapacitated, it’s up to Jack Boniface to stop the machinations of this vengeful sorceress – but can he trust in his ability to control the loa spirit bound to him, or will he have to face an ageless enemy completely alone?

Shadowman #10 is a comic so close to excellence that it is oddly frustrating. The  comic, written by Andy Diggle  with art by Renato Guedes and Eric Battle, and colours by Ulises Arreola, is very interesting to look at. The art in this comic, primarily handled by Guedes, is fantastic. There’s a lifelike realism to the pages where details jump out at you, grabbing your eyes by ink-stained fingers and pulling your attention to each and every page in your hand.

Ultimately, though, it’s within the intricately layered story where this reviewer’s frustration with the comic lays. Diggle brings a lot of the elements he had introduced earlier in his run back to play a part here (which is fantastic), but also relies upon the reader having read most, if not all, of Shadowman’s previous appearances since the Valiant relaunch in 2012. Material that, I haven’t fully read (specifically the first Shadowman series). So while there is just enough info provided for me to enjoy the series couple with my previous reading of Rapture and Operation Deadside (a self contained miniseries and an arc in Ninjak respectively), if you’re unfamiliar with either of those then you may struggle a little here – but if you’ve read the series thus far then there’s every chance that you’ll be more than able to follow the book along to a rather brilliant pay off that’s been building for several issues. 

Although it will undoubtedly be a benefit for you if you have read the entire Shadowman saga to date, it won’t be a gamebreaker if you haven’t. But, because of my annoyingly innate desire to know everything, I was a touch frustrated with the seemingly casual references to things I had no idea about, but can’t deny enjoying that Diggle has spent time researching the character and his previous appearances.

Ultimately what bothered me mot about the book may not be on your radar at all (like I said it’s an annoying desire), and so being aware of that I tried not to let that influence my judgement of a comic that propels the story forward into what promises to be at the very least an interesting and powerful conclusion that will set Shadowman up for some freaking amazing stories in the future.

Story: Andy Diggle Art: Renato Guedes and Eric Battle
Colours: Ulises Arreola Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.3 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review, but I picked up my own copy.

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